There’s no question that Mr Trump’s peace plan was in no small part about distraction.
The American President has his impeachment to deflect from. Israeli PM Netenyahu has a corruption and bribery trial ahead of him.
It’s also about domestic politics. Both leaders face elections – Netanyahu’s is in just a few weeks.
The plan they jointly unveiled, and without the Palestinians, appeals to their domestic bases – Israeli right wingers and American Jewish voters.
In truth, it’s not a viable plan for peace. It’s an aspiration.
It’s one that the Palestinians won’t accept. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made that clear “1000 times over” moments after it was revealed.
Even if the Palestinians are being offered economic sweeteners and Israeli desert land near Egypt as compensation, this won’t fly.
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The idea alone that they would sign up to a plan where the whole of Jerusalem – west and east – is formally declared as the capital of the Jewish State of Israel is a fantasy now and for many years to come.
The Trump plan is a radical new approach, weighted hugely towards the Israelis, at a time when sympathy for the Palestinian cause globally, even among Arab states is dwindling.
The awfulness of Syria, Yemen and Iraq has moved the focus away from the decades-old Palestinian struggle.
And Israel has successfully cast itself as the regional policeman vis-a-vis Iran. Gulf Arab states now quietly talk to Israel as they all work out how to counter Iran.
Again, this makes it harder for the Palestinian voice to be heard – if the Arabs in the Gulf don’t have their back, then what?
That’s why America and Israel think that now is the moment to reframe the debate; to reset the Israel/Palestinian argument and to do so in their own interests.
A final thought: Is there a chance that at some point in the future, a majority of Palestinians will decide that their own rights outweigh their quest for sovereignty and statehood?
Polls suggest the young in Palestine already care more about their rights than they do about having their own country.
They believe in a one state solution, a nation that incorporates everyone. Call it Israel, call it something else – long as they have rights entirely equal to Israeli Jews.
That could be where we are heading. One thing is clear though – the two state solution as we have known it for 30 years is dead with Donald Trump’s Deal of the Century.
Source : Sky News